China debuts creepy AI that reads the news like a real(ish) anchor

Don’t adjust your TV set, that’s just a new computer-generated news anchor working out the bugs. Xinhua, a Chinese state-run media company, and Sogou, a Beijing-based search engine debuted a pair of AI news anchors this week at the World Internet Conference. While identical in appearance, the two versions are designed to appease both English and Mandarin-speaking watchers. Both are carbon copies of a real-life anchor, Zhang Zhao. To create the life-like replica, the teams poured over hours of video and went to great lengths to recreate the mannerisms and idiosyncrasies of actual broadcast news anchors — complete with realistic lip…

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